CB 4 Transpo Committee Endorses Sixth Ave Protected Lane

A rendering from DOT's November proposal for a protected bike lane on Sixth Avenue. The plan now includes raised pedestrian medians. Image: NYC DOT

A rendering from DOT’s November proposal for a protected bike lane on Sixth Avenue. The plan now includes raised pedestrian medians. Image: NYC DOT

DOT is set to move forward with a protected bike lane on Sixth Avenue from 8th Street to 33rd Street after members of the Community Board 4 transportation committee gave the project a thumbs-up last night.

In November, the committee declined to support the proposal because members felt the new design did not do enough to protect pedestrians and cyclists. Of particular concern was the lack of raised concrete pedestrian islands and split-phase signals, which give cyclists and pedestrians dedicated time to cross streets without conflicts with turning traffic. Since then, CB 2 and CB 5 committees both endorsed the plan.

Last night, committee members reiterated many of their concerns but ultimately voted to endorse the plan.

DOT has adjusted the project in a few ways since November, including the addition of 33 raised concrete pedestrian islands. But DOT did not add split-phase signals to the plan, which currently includes them at the intersections with 14th Street and 23rd Street.

This did not sit well with CB 4 Chair Christine Berthet, who challenged DOT’s Ted Wright and Preston Johnson on the safety of mixing zones, in which cyclists merge with turning traffic at intersections.

Wright and Johnson said they would be open to studying additional split-phase intersections in the future. The committee’s resolution in support of the proposal calls on DOT to install two more split-phase signals within the year.